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how bad do you think this is......

(63 Posts)
paisleyII Sun 12-Jun-11 17:02:45

friend of mine runs a sweet shop in a market - a trendy type women came in with what looked like a 5yr old boy and asks is it alright if i leave him with you while i go for a coffee, i will only be about half an friend had never met the women before. wft, i wish she had asked me, i would have told her where to go. the thing is, i feel sad about the kid, i wouldn't leave my dd anywhere with a stranger, actually, i wouldn't dump my dd off even if it was with a good friend, not out of the blue unless it was really important

valiumredhead Sun 12-Jun-11 17:04:11

What? confused

StealthPolarBear Sun 12-Jun-11 17:05:26

so did your friend say yes?

paisleyII Sun 12-Jun-11 17:08:58

i swear this happened earlier today. my friends partner who also runs the shop said 'sure, i'll just go and phone childline' with which she apparently grabbed the boy and left the shop. i have been a bit upset actually by this since she told me once the shock died down. i run a market stall and recently noticed a little girl of about 7 hanging around my stall for ages (initially looking through some kids books i was selling). after a while i became aware of her and was wondering when her mother/carer was going to make an appearance. i have a mkt stall in a busy crowded courtyard - eventually her mother came over but she seemed really unbothered by where her dd was, she must have been out of view from her mother for ages, anyone could have come in and left with her. i found myself watching over the kid, i kind of felt obliged to. perhaps it was the same mother but has a daughter too? smile

DorcasBouvier Sun 12-Jun-11 17:09:21

That is completely mad! I would love to know what your friend said.

osd Sun 12-Jun-11 17:10:29

This happened lots to me when I worked in a toyshop. I said if the child was left it was store policy to phone social services I would say I had about 4 - 6 requests a month, more near Christmas. We even had a baby left with us, asleep in a pram, mum had gone across the road for a smoke and some lunch, she wanted some peace and said she didn't think it would matter as the baby was asleep. She was 3 hours and unfortunately we had to phone the police as to us it was an abandoned child.

paisleyII Sun 12-Jun-11 17:13:50

osd - that is crazy. dorcas - i don't know what my friend said, she was in shock too, she came and told me straight after it had happened as she knew it would interest me, all she said was what her dp said (about calling childline) - i think my friend was left speechless. she gets all kind of shite from mostly trendy middleclass mothers, seems like a magnet for them running a vintage trendy type sweet shop. one of the common classics is for someone to come in and to get her to read out the sugar contents on individual 2p sweets and then for the would be customer to leave without buying any :D

TeddyMcardle Sun 12-Jun-11 17:14:04

I have never heard of this shock I would presume depression/ parent at the end of their tether and in need of help.

TooManyBlossoms Sun 12-Jun-11 17:14:22

Your friend needs this sign

TheMonster Sun 12-Jun-11 17:16:32

lol TooMany grin

tomhardyismydh Sun 12-Jun-11 17:19:01

that is shocking what your friend described. but I dont think a 7 yr old being out of view is a problem if parent was close by and said child was mature enough to know to stay where she should and alert everyone else to a stranger. My dd is 5 and I often let her stray away from me whilst shopping generally within view but some times not if not such a busy place.

My dd knows to stay where she is instructed to and never to go anywhere with anyone, she also knows how to scream and shout stranger leave me alone, if asked to go anywhere with anyone.

I doubt very much an abductor would be working within a very busy market place.

paisleyII Sun 12-Jun-11 17:22:00

tom - what about the bulger kid. the girl hanging around my stall seemed pretty young to me and didn't seem very confident, i kept seeing her looking around anxiously looking for her mum, i quite upset me at the time. the courtyard is really noisy and i think unless she was belting out it could have gone unoticed, also, i regularly see kids having tantrums where i sell point being that if a kid kicked off people might just think the child was having a tantrum, i wouldn't leave dd alone in a busy open shopping place, sorry

thursday Sun 12-Jun-11 17:22:56

i don;t understand these people, i remember being at Blackpool Pleasure beach when i was about 14 and someone leaving a baby with us while she went on a ride. she didnt even pause for us to respond just parked, said 'watch him well yer' and fecked off. she was 40 minutes i reckon. in hindsight we should have taken him to a staff member, but we were having lunch and struck dumb i think.

OSD, did you wait 3 hours to report an abandoned baby or is that what time she came back wondering where the baby was?

aliceliddell Sun 12-Jun-11 17:23:21

TooMany - Ha! grin

wonka Sun 12-Jun-11 17:24:38

Oh how do people just walk away leaving their child with somebody they don't know. It broke my heart after 5 settling in scessions (3 of which I stayed for) leaving DS at nursery.

thursday Sun 12-Jun-11 17:25:29

yeah, James Bulger didn't go missing from a busy shopping centre at all. no, wait....

FlubbaBubba Sun 12-Jun-11 17:28:40

That's shocking and sad at the same time.

I sometimes joke with shop owners when my brats DCs are playing up, saying something along the lines of "and it's okay if we leave our kids here with you for a few hours, isn't it?" but I grin as I'm saying it and now I hope to God they know we're joking?! They always seem to get it.

notyummy Sun 12-Jun-11 17:35:39

Ok, there are 2 different issues here entirely. The original OP described a situation that is clearly odd and i doubt many people would support.

The second, about when as a parent you choose to let your child have done freedom is completely different. I can see myself doing something similar to that Market situation within the next year, and dd is about 5. The biggest threat is them wondering off and getting lost and scared- NOT being snatched. Statistically the odds of that are tiny. This fear of letting your out of your sight is contributing to a generation of kids who have no freedom to explore and are far fatter, unfitted znd less resourceful than the ones who went before then. The has not been a marked increase in the no of children being snatched- only in the fear.

thursday Sun 12-Jun-11 17:40:16

if everyone else is keeping their children close by and 1 person lets them wander around unsupervised, which one do you think the child stealing people will target? thats what the paranoid voice in my head says. i know what you're saying, and i agree. the chances are very small but it's not the only concern either. i don't think its overly sensible to assume children are safe in busy places either though.

tomhardyismydh Sun 12-Jun-11 17:42:07

james bulger was not a 5 6 7 yr old child

sharbie Sun 12-Jun-11 17:42:44

there are some v strange people about - perhaps she was just having a funny five minutes - not thinking straight??
although thinking about this i had a friend who would regularly leave her v young children in the park for 10 mins while she popped into the nearby shops.she told them not to leave the park and thought that was ok. confused
we were at cowes week last year and sat near a foreign family (european) and they thought it was perfectly acceptable to leave their 3 v young children outside the beer tent alone while they went inside.the dcs had nothing to do so they decided to sit on/play with and then dismantle parts of someones' parked (and v exp looking) bike.
as i said people are strange.

notyummy Sun 12-Jun-11 17:45:29

I don't think we should assume they are safe. But, I dont assume the opposite. Everyone will judge differently, depending on the child and risk factors (i.e a Market by water with a non swimming child etc.)

It just makes me sad to see all the freedoms I had as a child (and I was the much doted on only child) eroded through fear and worry.

tomhardyismydh Sun 12-Jun-11 17:47:23

Thursday I think you have taken out of context what has been said, particularly by my self and also what was described in the op, a child ranging from 5 to 7or even older, browsing a market stall is not freely wandering around. The op may not have seen the mother does not mean the mother could not see their child or know she was at a particular place and not freely wandering.

thursday Sun 12-Jun-11 17:54:01

i'm not really thinking about 7yr olds tbh, i think its a big leap in maturity, more the 5 yr old end of the spectrum. my son is almost 5 and if i blinked he'd jump under a car and frequently adopts other families and tries to wander off with them. he's told strangers that he's lost before when i'm right next to him and i have to say i'm his mum while they look doubtful. i just can't imagine being able to trust him to stay where he said and not wander off in the next 12 months. maybe he's exceptionally flighty though, i don't know.

bethelbeth Sun 12-Jun-11 17:59:31

That is absolutely insane!

Even if the child was 10 years old and old enough to be in a shop by themselves, spending pocket money or whatnot I would NEVER ask the shopkeeper to watch them for me. Not even if I was just going to pay the parking meter.

It's not their job to look after your children! So rude.

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